Well what a busy few months I have had and not much time for socialising/doing stuff I want to do…
We had a few family issues with a family member which I had to sort out, it was all very stressful but that has now passed and we can as a family move forward, I had to also rush hubby to hospital at 11pm one evening, he refused to allow me to call ambulance so keeping all fingers crossed I got him there in time and, luckily although it was a massive shock for me to deal with and I didn’t sleep for 48 hours (my manager said I was speaking like I was on speed when I rang in work to say I wouldn’t be in due to lack of sleep and apparently wasn’t making much sense – LOL!). Luckily he is all better now and none the worse for wear.
On the plot we have had our failures and successes like everyone else I suspect. Main failure was the leeks, I tried an experiment by sowing my leeks very early i.e. during the autumn to try to get a crop early summer (as per an historical gardening programme suggested and demonstrated) but as we know if you sow early you can develop rust and this is exactly what happened, they all also went to seed before the rust set in.
Parsnips took 4 sowings due to the heavy wet clay soil as did the carrots. The peas took 2 sowings and at first were very yellow and sickly but as the ground dried out and a good thick layer of well rotted horse manure went on the bed around the peas along with lots of liquid feed they have perked up and producing a small crop. Later sowings in another area of the lottie are doing rather better.
The cucumbers, courgettes, squashes etc are all doing extremely well and have been picking courgettes and cucumbers until I am sick of seeing them and am hopefull of a good squash and pumpkin harvest.
All the raspberry runners I transplanted to the new fruit cage area died and having already dug up and got rid of the parent plants I now have to re-stock along with the gooseberry plants. Unfortunately when I transplanted it was a the correct transplanting time i.e. early winter but, then we had all that flooding and, as they hadn’t got established in their new beds they simply couldn’t cope and died. But on a positive note, I can now re-stock with the breeds of raspberries and gooseberries rather than using the old which were given to me from other plotholders clearing their plots.
Runner been Desiree has been marvelous this year despite the deer munching the side shoots during the early growing period, I have commandeered my parents spare freezer and have kept another plot holder supplied where her’s have totally failed. This particular breed is true to its description – “A very heavy cropping runner bean that crops well even in dry conditions. Produces long, broad pods up to 30cm (12”) in length that are completely stringless”. I also found them to be the sweetest of all the runners I have grown and for me are superior on taste, quality and quantity than Wisley Magic (not advertised as stringless).
I am growing Chantony carrots this year for the 1st time in a nice big tub. No netting from carrot fly and so far all is well.
Tomatoes in the greenhouse have been infested with tomato moth caterpillar which along with blossom end rot have lost about 1/2 my tomatoes. A learning curve with regards to the blossom end rot is to feed more when growing in grow-bags and to put a net over the greenhouse door and window to allow fresh air in but not the moth. I will of course come autumn totally empty the greenhouse, give it all a good scrub, washing all the pots, trays and staging in Jays fluid along with the glass before re-stocking for the winter, hopefully this will get rid of any over-wintering caterpillars and other nasties.
Well other than watering, a few beds cleared such as the onion and garlic which is now in store drying I have so much to do on the plots, ground needs improving after last winters flood as it’s still not recovered, new weeds which were never present before have started germinating where the seeds have blown in from other plots and a wildlife and pond area needs to be created to encourage all those lovely frogs and toads to take up residence.